Archive for the ‘Photography’ Tag

Project based candid photography   Leave a comment

Photographers often discuss about merits to have project or just do random walk during street shooting. I am a random walker. I constantly move from one place to another being alert to any opportunity for my shot.

Recently I had interesting experience in project based photography. My boss asked me to make some images for our company website. My professional responsibility has no relation to the photography or any fine art for that matter. My hobby is well known in our office and I’ve got my project.

Besides shooting in the office, I took some pictures about building.  This is the famous Chicago CBOT building that has a lot of action and interesting architecture.  To have project is unusual for me experience. I was constrained by the place and I had to explore every situation.  It is hard to say whether good shot is the product of the pure luck or having project really helps.

Candid street photography as gambling   3 comments

By understanding relationship between the candid street photography and gambling we can answer many related questions. In gambling and in street photography you “invest” time and money. The major loss in candid photography and gambling is your opportunity loss to spend time in more rewarding way. Success in gambling and candid street photography can be achieved only by mixture of talent and pure luck.

Q. All photographers compete for attention, money or honor. Why does photography with such low entry requirements have free “how to” information available with no strings attached?
A.  Because information does not make you better photographer. By learning and doing photography you feed The System.  Very few of us have talent that would allow competing with professionals  but meantime education encourages us to pay for books, read advertisements and buy equipment.

Q. Why do people flood each other with so many bad images?
A. Investment on every image is extremely small so it is easy to make bet for some glory.  Most of us take good picture once in a while by pure chance. Streak of luck makes us feel as a genius. Lucky moments we remember much better then millions of failures and hours of wasted time. Positive reinforcement pushes us to do more shooting. Our real loss is the totality of all missed possibilities, time and money that we spend for this pursue.

Q. Why some people cannot stop buying equipment? Do we really need 3 cameras and 20 lenses to make good shot?
A. When photographers experience persistent bad luck (bad streaks) or got bored they can exhibit irrational behavior (going on tilt). There is only one remedy for this. Photographer has to admit this problem and reevaluate the basic strategy.

Q. Why the majority of photos (good but especially bad) are taken during good weather, interesting locations, or in the bars?
A. Most of us intuitively understand the concept of hedging. Hedging is the idea to get at least something in one thing for a loss of another.  It is essential strategy in the most popular gambling activity – financial trading.  At least photographer can enjoy walking, sights or cocktail when nothing valuable in terms of imaging comes to his way. Much more people would like to get soaked in the rain if this would guarantee great picture.

Give me more questions and I will happily explain them.

Related topics
What is “the candid photography of strangers”?
Why is the candid photography unique?

Editor’s choice for Image of the Year   1 comment

Happy Holidays!

Rules and myths of candid photography   Leave a comment

Let me know if you would like to discuss other rules and myths of candid street photography.

Use your own judgment and be creative.

Related topics

What is “the candid photography of strangers”?

Why is the candid photography unique?

Rules and myths of candid photography: To use post processing or in camera only imaging   Leave a comment

Some experts support the notion that for candid photography to be “authentic” you cannot use postprocessing for enhancement. Some may say that while it’s ok to use mercury during image development and spiral into insanity, the computer is the “poison” for your creativity.

This idea probably stems from the fear that the computer makes things so easy, professionals are going to be overwhelmed by amateurs.  It is similar to the perpetual struggle of professional gilds against mass production. Ultimately, progress is inevitable.

Opponents of postprocessing are fundamentally misguided because the more good pictures we have, the better. Even with the edition of postprocessing, nothing can make a dull image interesting.  The art of photography will always remain in the skill of the photographer.

I use very simple post processing tasks:

  • Cropping and rotating
  • Converting from color to B&W
  • Enhancing contrast
  • Sharpening

Usually this takes no more than 10 minutes. If I feel that my postprocessing is taking me too long, it’s probably a bad image in the first place.  It’s better to take the time to find a better shot, than slave away behind a poor composition.

I chose this image as an example because I did nothing with it.

Related topics

Rules and myths of candid photography: Black & White or Color

Pentax 70 mm f/2.4 DA Limited for Candid Street Photography   Leave a comment

After work one day, I had about 3 hours to myself.  I decided to kill the time shooting with a 70 mm f/2.4 using a wide open aperture.

Considering its reach, this is an amazingly small lens. With 70mm I can always use the viewfinder and there is no reason to think about shooting from the hip.

The depth of field (DOF) of f/2.4 is shallow and my only goal is to focus on the object. This is a liberating experience. The challenge is to focus on the moving target, so don’t think about what else you want to be sharp.

For more pictures go to Shooting with Pentax 70 mm 2.4 wide open only

Related topics

Rules and Myths of Candid Photography: Wide angle or telephoto lenses

Pentax 14mm f/2.8 for Candid Street Photography   Leave a comment

I bought this lens a couple of years ago to take pictures of architecture and landscape. In the last two weeks I’ve tried it for my candid street photography. This is the widest lens I have and it requires a very close range to the subject to take a picture. Don’t even think about using the viewfinder and autofocus. The mode of operation is “point and shoot”.

This is not a small glass, but when you are very close to the person it is hard to conceal your intentions anyway.

The lens is fast. I often use it wide open. I don’t think that a faster lens would be useful.  When you are in a range of six feet or less, it becomes a shallow depth of field.  This makes the misfocus problem more pronounced.

For more pictures go to Shooting with Pentax 14mm f/2.8

Related topics

The Rules and Myths of Candid Photography: Wide angle or telephoto lenses